Most newborns with hydrocephalus require prompt diagnosis and treatment but can thrive following placement of a shunt or other treatment. If their only medical concern is hydrocephalus, they will likely live a normal lifespan and have a normal quality of life. They will have a few limitations but will require ongoing monitoring. So, the prognosis for newborns with hydrocephalus is generally positive.
The overall prognosis depends heavily on any other congenital abnormalities or birth injuries they suffered. For example, hydrocephalus is common with spina bifida, which often leaves children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
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Statistics Show Most Babies With Hydrocephalus Do Well After Release From the Hospital
The effects of hydrocephalus vary from child to child. In general, with early detection and treatment, most babies do very well. It is important, though, to ensure the child receives ongoing monitoring and care.
Around half of all children born with hydrocephalus have normal intelligence and most live a normal lifespan. The most common complications include seizures in about ten percent of children born with hydrocephalus.
The mortality rate for infants born with hydrocephalus overall is about five percent, and many of these children may have additional medical conditions or injuries that caused their hydrocephalus.
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Hydrocephalus and Brain Damage
The damage, if any, the brain sustained because of the build-up of pressure associated with hydrocephalus will play a role in the child’s life. How large this role is, however, depends on many factors. Some children have normal intelligence, while others require special education services.
Depending on the area of the brain affected and the severity of the damage, some children may experience only behavioral difficulties or relatively minor developmental delays. Others may face years of speech, occupational, and physical therapy to navigate self-care and independent living tasks.
Newborns With Hydrocephalus Require Ongoing Monitoring
The most common treatment for hydrocephalus in newborns is shunt placement. This procedure requires the surgeon to insert a long, flexible tube with a one-way valve into the baby’s brain and under the skin to the abdomen. This allows the excess cerebrospinal fluid to drain and be reabsorbed by the body.
This is a very common procedure, and most babies do well. However, shunts require close monitoring by a pediatrician and a pediatric neurologist. Infection is possible, and shunts can become blocked or otherwise fail. Revision surgery is common, and to be expected during childhood.
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Birth Injury Lawsuits
Many cases of hydrocephalus are preventable. They occur because the doctor delivering the newborn, or another medical care provider, commits medical negligence. The baby suffers a head injury and traumatic brain damage, and hydrocephalus is the result. This could be grounds for a birth injury lawsuit.
Even if your baby develops hydrocephalus as a result of a congenital condition, you may be able to pursue compensation if the doctor failed to monitor your baby adequately and overlooked symptoms. A missed diagnosis is one way medical malpractice can occur.
You are encouraged to reach out today if you have questions about your case and if you qualify to pursue compensation related to your child’s birth injury or delayed treatment.
You May Only Have a Limited Time to Act
There are time limits on these cases. Each state sets its own statute of limitations, and many also have rules that may allow families to toll the statute of limitations for birth injury cases. This can make it difficult to know exactly how long you have to take legal action.
The best option to learn more about the time limits that may apply in your case is to speak with a lawyer familiar with the birth injury laws in your state. Many birth injury lawyers offer free case reviews and handle these cases with no out-of-pocket expenses to the child’s family.
Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney in Your State About Your Case
If your newborn required treatment for hydrocephalus, you may have grounds for a birth injury case. This is most likely the case if the condition occurred because of a birth injury, or there was a delay in diagnosis and treatment. You may be eligible to pursue compensation and hold the doctor or hospital liable. Knowing that the prognosis for newborns with hydrocephalus is positive can be a relief. You still deserve to bring the parties at fault for your child’s condition to justice.
You can take action today by calling the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can listen to your story and help you connect with a lawyer in your state who regularly handles this type of birth injury case. Then, you will receive a free case evaluation and consultation with that attorney or a member of their staff.